Anna Nathanson discovers Indian Yoga Massage, the latest holistic craze to be hitting our radar…
Yoga, which works in uniting the mind, body, soul, emotions and intellect, has achieved global popularity. The timeless tradition is so ingrained in today’s popular culture that it would be hard pressed to find someone who hasn’t heard of it. Iyengar Yoga founder B.K.S Iyengar once said, “yoga is not a religion, yoga is the science of religions”. Despite not quite being a religion, it’s undoubtedly been treated as such by many a superstar, and it was only a matter of time before a new offshoot of the fad took off.
Indian Yoga Massage might just be the perfect thing for beating those winter blues. This is the time of year that most cases of depression are reported, and with the short daylight hours, as well as the everyday stresses that life brings, you’re probably feeling in need of rejuvenation.
A relatively new invention, Indian Yoga Massage was founded by Dr. Kusum Modak, the daughter of an Ayurvedic physician. She still practises in India today, but has also extended her knowledge and in recent years the method has made its way to far reaching shores across the globe.
General Yoga practitioners have been flocking from all corners to master the art, including Sophie Pitcher, who trained in Goa and now practises in London. “When I came back to England two years ago, not many people knew about Indian Yoga Massage. But I’ve definitely witnessed a rise in its popularity, particularly among celebrities and stressed out high flyers. But the treatment is ideal for anyone wanting a boost”.
The process combines Iyengar yoga principles with Ayurvedic massage, leading to increased flexibility, improved energy levels and better posture, as well as a host of other benefits, such as releasing tension and levelling the mind.
The Sanskrit word Ayurveda roughly translates as the “science of a long life” and is a medicinal practise championed in the Indian subcontinent. Iyengar Yoga, a form of Hatha Yoga, acts in uniting the mind, body and spirit through the structural alignment of the body, and has been praised for it’s healing qualities.
With these two components united, you have Indian Yoga Massage, and the results are nothing short of phenomenal.
A typical session can be expected to last approximately two hours, and involves lying on a rug on the floor, usually with soothing music being played simultaneously. Sesame oil is used first to warm the skin, before Calamus powder is applied.
Sesame oil has been championed by spiritual gurus from ancient scholars to Deepak Chopra, and is praised for its soothing capabilities. Calamus, an Ayurvedic root herb, is known for detoxifying and exfoliating the skin, as well as increasing energy flow throughout the body.
The massage works through each body tissue one by one, with the hand strokes working on the soft tissue. The masseuse then uses their feet for the deep tissue massage. Yoga stretches are then incorporated, which give the organs a massage too. The twist stretch and bent leg stretch work on the digestive system, leaving you feeling rejuvenated and totally connected to your body.
Singer Danielle Senior, who recently discovered Indian Yoga Massage, reports brilliant results. “I felt like I’d been given a new body. I could feel the benefits immediately and they lasted well into the following week. I then went back for another treatment, and now I’m hooked. Plus, it’s nice to just relax and let somebody else do all the hard work, such as the stretches. I couldn’t recommend it enough”. Even holistic professionals are becoming hooked on this new craze, as practitioner Sophie Pitcher asserts.
“My colleagues, such as the osteopath and acupuncturist, say it’s the best massage they’ve ever had- and I get that a lot. When I worked at the summer festivals, people would always come back for another session”, she says.
As one of her co-workers reveals, “the beauty of it is that there’s a lot more to it than any other form of massage and you leave feeling like you’ve been given a new lease of life”.
Prices are approximately £70 for a two-hour session. Initially, one treatment a week is suggested by practitioners, which can then be reduced to once a month after three weeks. If you’re suffering from any serious injuries, it is recommended that you seek medical advice prior to undertaking treatment. For more information on Indian Yoga Massage, visit www.southlondonnaturalhealthcentre.com or contact Sophie Pitcher via www.sophiepitcher.co.uk
By Anna Nathanson